2014 Canada, ISIS – war fighting or peace operations – the reason you can’t do both

Posted: October 7, 2014 in Uncategorized
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The question is one of choosing war fighting or peacemaking? If peace making you need to be able to talk to all parties, in order to be effective in terms of providing safe havens, protecting refugees, and working towards a ceasefire.

If the objective is peacemaking and the care for the people of Iraq, this means “serve and protect”, a defensive and constabulary operation supported b y military.   This means peacemaking.   This means an approach that seeks to establish safe havens, refugee routes, humanitarian aid, with a constabulary operation, only backed by military as needed.  This means impartiality, being present with these people, prioritizing human rights and non violence, and establishing lines of communication with all parties.  Perhaps the inevitable diplomatic solutions will come sooner than later, if we start now.  With a UN mandate, this we can make a contribution consistent with our values and in concert with the global community.

If the objective is war fighting, or destroying ISIS, this, militarily, means “search and destroy” and going on the offence.  This, in all likelihood will cause a significant destruction of property, and the killing of more civilians than insurgents.  That is the nature of war when heavy weapons and bombs, are used against an insurgency embedded in the civilian population.  We have been there before.

Search and destroy or serve and protect?  Peacemaking requires impartiality for the sake of civilian lives.  How can one negotiate with ISIS, when the readiness and willingness emerges, or war fatigue, when one is bombing them?

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